Proven Performance

Studco Vortex Research, Development and Testing

The Studco Vortex High Performance Wall System evolved as a solution over a two year study period which analysed data from global wind studies, field investigations and audio recordings of tall buildings with known problems. Prototype systems were then laboratory tested by Deakin University and the final design was installed in skyscrapers and tested.

Research & Development

Wind Studies

Initial findings singled out that high wind events were a common cause for noise annoyance in high-rise buildings and as a result of this, it became a primary focus for the research conducted Amongst built up cities with a large concentration of high-rise buildings, a phenomenon known as vortex shedding occurs. This natural effect is caused by wind as it flows around buildings in an oscillating pattern causing vibrations across the building structure. Further analysis of multiple wind tunnel test reports from highly populated cities uncovered that vortex shredding was linked closely to vibration and tension related noise.


Field Investigations

Inspection of concrete substrate surfaces unveiled several issueswith the wall fixing interface, including misaligned formwork, residue concrete and debris attached to the concrete. In some cases, theconcrete surface had ridges and obstructions up to 10mm high and over a relatively short distance, the level of the surface varied 10-20mm, providing an uneven surface for internal walls to be fixed to the structure.

By accessing ceiling and wall cavities, several buildings with known issues were investigated. This included employing infrared cameras to locate the source of movement and possible causes of noise annoyance. Numerous construction projects were monitored over the two-year research period to gain an insight into common installation practices. This provided an understanding of the on-site constraints that confront internal wall installers.

In the pursuit of ultimate quality and performance, the Studco R&D team has adopted a rigorous program of continuous testing and certification through collaborative partnerships with some of Australia’s peak research organisations and testing facilities.

Misaligned formwork was identified as a contributing factor to tension in internal framing.
Formwork residue and concrete debris often present uneven fixing surfaces which are not made good prior to wall installation

Data Analysis

For several months acoustic recording devices were installed into buildings with reported noise problems to capture the noises a resident would typically experience. To determine the exact source of the noise annoyance, walls and ceilings were removed in existing buildings and acoustic source localisation methods were employed using a dispersed microphone array.

Analysis by PKA Acoustics identified individual noises and their location within the targeted building structure. This process singled out the noise emitting from the internal wall framing and was cross referenced against wind data recorded from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Analysis concluded that noise annoyance occurred mostly during high wind events. The high winds induce aggressive vibration in the building structure, generating a creaking noise at the head track. Due to the tension caused by the uneven concrete substrate this noise has been measured at levels reaching 58db.


Product Development

From the evidence discovered during Studco’s studies, it became clear that new problems require new thinking. Using 3D modelling and finite element analysis; the Studco Research & Innovation Team collaborated to produce a practical solution to noise annoyance in internal walls. Initial digital prototypes were tested through construction simulations to verify the performance in high tension applications.

Emphasis was placed on removing the tension from the metal components in the wall system and isolating metal-on-metal connections, whilst still achieving the desired structural, acoustic and fire rating outcomes of the wall system. The final prototypes were subjected to our verification processes which included critical appraisal from stakeholders across the full spectrum of the construction industry.



Computer Simulations

Using finite element analysis to identify component displacements, strains, and stresses under internal and external loads, Deakin University benchmarked the Studco Vortex system against other wall systems on the market.

This stimulation was based on a wall installation fixed to a concrete substrate with an undulating surface of +/- 3mm, significantly less than witnessed in the field. This testing identified both extensive elastic and plastic deformation across the traditional system.

The images below display a large amount of tension and deformation in traditional steel sections. In contrast, the Studco Vortex section shows only a small amount of deformation around the designed for purpose pre-stressed fixing tabs.

Structural Lab Testing

Verifying the results of the FEA process, Deakin University conducted structural testing of traditional wall systems against the Studco Vortex system. This displayed comparable results to the FEA as the traditional system displayed extreme deformation across the length of the metal profiles.

Results show the unyielding rigidity of the Studco Vortex Wall System stood out, when evaluating the two tested samples. This is important to modern high-rise buildings as deformation of the profile introduces stress into the system and increases the likelihood of generating noise and friction in the internal framing system.

Vortex Sample Graph
Vortex Track Comparison


Trial Installation

The Studco Vortex wall system underwent the ultimate test when it was installed in apartments within a 250 metre tall building which had known noise annoyance issues. Initially, sound recording devices were placed within the apartment for three months to capture the noises experienced within the living space. Then the existing walls were removed and replaced with the Studco Vortex wall system, followed by a further three month period of recording the noises in the apartment. Using wind speed recorders placed on the building to align similar high wind events, the before and after results of the sound recordings were then compared, and demonstrated that Studco’s new system had greatly improved the liveability of the space.

Audible creaking noise up to 58dB with walls constructed from traditional wall system.
After walls were rebuilt from Studco Vortex wall system, only normal ambient noise is audible.


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